This website explains how subliminal messages work and we consequently understand how subliminal images are registered by our brain. In movies, pictures or video, flash images are inserted and we do not take conscious of this image but our brain detects on an unconscious point of view. Studies have been led such as the one of Vacary in cinema where he insert the words “eat popcorn” and the sales apparently increased. But this research was done under lab conditions and it does not prove clearly that subliminal images or messages can affect us.

Another study led in in 2009, at University College of London suggested that subliminal messages cant be received if the messages are negative. It is not really surprising because I have the impression that negative and hard images can easily be impressed in our mind. Chocking images are retained by our brain sometimes more than the good ones. For example trauma are easily registrered by people’s mind.



Weird Twist


Subliminal images and messages work in a way it is registered by our unconscious mind and then transmitted to the conscious mind, the one that makes us act and think. University College London researchers have proved that  invisible subliminal images do attract the brain’s attention on a subconscious level. UCL researchers further stated that  subliminal advertising…certainly do leave their mark on the brain. They also found that negative subliminal messages impact our subconscious more so than positive messages: Fear vs. security for example. Subliminal images work in this way because it is the phenomenon as an evolutionary survival mechanism hardwired in us all, states the professor Nilli Lavie. This could explain why there are many subliminal images related to pornography or death : to make react human instinct. We can easily confirm this fact when we see the influence of TV on children. They keep in mind violence scene more than the gentle ones, and easily repeat it. So it certainly work in the same way on adult’s brain.


Life’s Little Mysteries


The question on the efficiency about subliminal images is still largely debated. It functions in a way our brain register its at an unconscious level, without being aware of it. Flashing words and images very fast in a way we cannot see apparently influence us because our brain register these messages. It began in the 1950’s, when a marketing experiment flashed the message “Drink Coca-Cola” in a cinema and correlated this to increased Coke sales in that area. There is no scientific proof about this use. This website deals more with questionning the efficiency of subliminal images than proving how it works. And it is very interesting to wonder if subliminal images really work. It is easy to prove with scanning IRM that our brain react to subliminal images. But how can we prove that it influences our behaviour? Because human beings do not work like machines, it is hard to determine what really influence our mind.




Subliminal messages, and consequently subliminal images influences us by playing on emotions. Subliminal stimuli can exist through different forms such as auditive or visual. The visual based subliminal messages are images which are quickly flashed before the brain has time to process them, or are flashed and masked, which also interrupts processing by the brain. Subliminal messages began to be controversial in the 1950′, when advertisers began to use it in order to improve the sales.

Subliminal images work in a way it make our brain react. However, the question about its influence on our behavior is still debated through scientists and psychologist because it is very hard to prove it. It makes me really afraid of how media and advertising may manipulate us. However, it does not need to be subliminal images to affect our brain and behaviour. Indeed, we are manipulated anytime and anywhere by all our surroundings, in the street, on the TV, on the Internet. Advertisement just make react our feeling and emotions to make us prefer one brand from another, and this fact is generally made without subliminal images but just pictures or slogan that can appeal our basic human instinct.


The Telegraph


Scientists have proved that flashing images so fast in a way people do not perceive it impacts on the brain at unconscious level, that could be revealed at the conscious one. The subliminal messages inserted by James Vicary in cinemas in 1957, aiming to increase sodas and popcorn sales has in fact been denied by the author himself later : Vicary has fabricated the results.

However, 50 years after, British scientists have demonstrated that messages can leave mark on the brain, and particularly negative messages.To prove this idea, scientists have showed to fifty participants a series of words on a computer screen. Words were flashing one by one and people could not consciously read it. It could be positive, negative or neutral word.After each word, participants were asked to choose whether the word was neutral or “emotional” (i.e. positive or negative), and how confident they were of their decision. What is really surprising in this study is that people answered most accurately when responding to negative words – even when they believed they were merely guessing the answer.

Professor Lavie, who participates to this study, believes the research may have implications for the use of subliminal marketing to convey messages such as in advertising or public relations.



The committee for Skeptical Inquiry


After the Vacary’s study in cinema concerning an insertion of a flash image “eat popcorn” or “drink coke”, sells have increased, but it has also alarmed the Federal Communications Solutions. Subliminal advertising has been forbidden in many countries.

The subject has been discussed a long while after and Vacary’s study was doubted. He was asked to replicate his study under scientific observations. No changes in the sales occured. However, the interest in subliminal messages increased and new movement appeared, such as the one of  “New Thought,”. The doctrine of New Thought stated that our mind possesses an unlimited but hidden power that could improve our life. As well, more and more people began to be interested in subliminal messages ( such as medicines, in schools…). And everyone has heard at least one time about subliminal messages. But does it really work? Many studies are constantly led but a recently one is obviously interesting to explain how it could work.
In the early 1990’s, participants were asked to listen a video tape aiming to improve their self-esteem with subliminal messages. After 5 days of daily-listenning, they had to answer some questions and the results proved that there were no changes in their self-esteem. However, most of them claimed they feel their self-esteem improved. In this way, subliminal messages can work as a placebo when known.

We are surrounded everywhere and anytime by messages that tend to influence ouserlve. As the author states, it would better to focus on the real influence that surround us (without being hidden or subliminal images) such as public relations, advertising or propaganda.




Subliminal images are defined as images hidden behind other images. In this way, our brain perceives it but we are not aware of this at a conscious level. It seems that this website is a real advert for videotape with subliminal messages… and when you see at the end the links towards “Amazon”, you understand why!
But anyway, let keep focus on the content of this website. I am a little bit doubting about the relevance of this website about explaining how subliminal images or messages work. According to the author, it obviously work but there is no real sources, references or scientific study. For example, it is said that subliminal enhancement can boost learning. “Graduate students received, the underlying statistics or extension to their classes, be better for their final exams than students who received neutral messages”. It highlights the fact that  that subliminal messages that have helped students feel good actually increased learning. However there is no date, no school name or researchers references about this study. As we can find anything on the Internet, this website is not relevant at all because they can say anything about how subliminal images or messages work.


Blogging the Brain


According to the University College, London people only register the images if the brain had “spare capacity”. A study has been led to prove this fact. Participants had to wear red-blue filter glasses that projected faint images of ordinary objects on to one eye and a strong flashing image on the other.

The strong flashing image meant the participants were not consciously aware of the faint images projected on to the other eye. At the same time, they had to achieve some easy tasks. It was proven, due to MRI brain scanning, that when performing easy taks, images were registered by the brain. However, when tasks became more difficult, it has less impact on the part of the brain risponsible for unconscious mind. This article explains very well how subliminal images work and influence people’s brain.

It is very interesting to see the functionning of subliminal messages and in fact it is not surprising that it works better when  people are not busy. Even if it explains how it works to be registered by our brain, it does not explain how it could influence our consciousness.


Divine Caroline


In this article the author discuss the efficiency of subliminal messages on people’s mind. In 1957, a market researcher claimed that he flashed suggestive phrases in cinema during the playing of the film ( Such as “eat popcorn” ). The sales  increased, and the author of this declared that “subliminal advertising” was successful.

It sure that it was proven that subliminal images are registrered by our brain, without any awareness of it. But no studies can prove that it affects our decision-making. Some people would go as far as to say that subliminal messages are hidden in songs such as Hard rock or The beatles ones.

It may occur that subliminal messages is a myth, while we don’t have the proof it influences our behaviour.In 1978, the police in Kansas tried to convince a serial killer to turn himself in using subliminal messages. They created a commercial with the suggestion “Call the chief” spliced into the middle, to entice the person to come forward. It didn’t work, and he wasn’t arrested until 2005.

It is interesting to see another point of view about subliminal images that could probably not affect people’s way of acting.





This article intend to explain how subliminal images work. It uses a study led by a group of the University College in London.
Participants had to wear red-blue filter glasses that projected faint images of ordinary objects. The strong flashing image meant the participants were not consciously aware of the faint images projected on to the other eye. At the same time, they were asked to achieve easy tasks, such as picking out the letter T from a stream of letters.

Researchers found that during the easy task the brain registered the ‘invisible’ object although the participants were unaware they had seen it. But during the harder task, which required more concentration, the brain apparently doesn’t register  the subliminal image.Our brain memorize images when we are not busy. However, I wish this article could explain a bit more about the link with our consciousness.

I do believe that our brain can register and keep messages that we are not aware of but it can go out again when facing a problem or a trauma. As kids, we register so many things that we don’t remember when we are adults and yet we act generally depending on what we have seen or lived as a child.